Journalistic theory generally holds that news items should be objective, giving the reader an accurate background and analysis of the subject at hand. On the other hand, advertisements evolved from the traditional commercial advertisements to include also a new type in the form of paid articles or broadcasts disguised as news. These generally present an issue in a very subjective and often misleading light, primarily meant to persuade rather than inform. Normally they use only subtle propaganda techniques and not the more obvious ones used in traditional commercial advertisements. If the reader believes that a paid advertisement is in fact a news item, the message the advertiser is trying to communicate will be more easily "believed" or "internalized".
The Grapes of Wrath continues to influence readers and inspire student discussions, even though the history it addresses is far in the past. It is still one of the most widely read novels in both high school and college classrooms. The novel has even continued to prompt further research: just recently, the Steinbeck Institute commissioned researchers to trace the path of the Joads. They reported that little has changed -- a traveler who sets out from Oklahoma and heads for California is met with wide expanses and difficult terrain, much the same landscape that the Joads encountered. In more ways than one, The Grapes of Wrath is timeless.